The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court
is gearing up to hear a court case that could permanently strike the phrase "under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance recited by schoolchildren.
On Wednesday, attorneys representing an atheist family from the Acton area filed a brief with the state's highest court. The same group had previously challenged the Acton-Boxboro Regional School District and the Town of Acton Public Schools, where the family's three children attend in Middlesex County Superior Court, saying that the phrase "under God" is an endorsement of a religious world view.
The unidentified family is joined in the case by the American Humanist Association, a secular rights group. They say this violates the equal rights amendment in the Massachusetts Constitution. In addition, they also say the daily recital of the pledge counts as unlawful discrimination.
On June 8, the lawsuit was rejected by the Middlesex Superior Court, and the Supreme Judicial Court decided last month to hear the case. Oral arguments will start in early 2013, and the judgment should be revealed by early summer.